Brighton & Hove Albion Women endure difficult start to debut FA Women's Super League season

Brighton & Hove Albion's Ini Umotong (in action against Manchester United in the fourth-round of the SSE Women's FA Cup) scored the winner in their 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Women's Super League. Picture by Alex Burstow/Getty Images.
Brighton & Hove Albion's Ini Umotong (in action against Manchester United in the fourth-round of the SSE Women's FA Cup) scored the winner in their 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Women's Super League. Picture by Alex Burstow/Getty Images.

Brighton & Hove Albion Women have had a difficult start to life in the FA Women's Super League in their debut season in the women's top-tier.

The Seagulls sit ninth in the division having taken nine points from 15 games. In a tight battle at the bottom just six points separate Albion in ninth and bottom-of-the-table Yeovil Town, although Brighton have played two games more than the Glovers.

Despite a tough start to life in the top division, the Seagulls managed to pick up an impressive away victory at 2013 and 2014 FA Women's Super League winners Liverpool on January 6. Goals from Northern Irish defender Laura Rafferty and Nigerian forward Ini Umotong secured a famous win for the Albion.

They have also suffered mixed fortunes in the two domestic cup competitions this season. Brighton fell to a 2-0 home defeat in the fourth-round of the SSE Women's FA Cup against FA Women's Championship side Manchester United.

A double from sub Lauren James sealed United's progress as Seagulls captain Dani Buet had a penalty saved by the Red Devils' England-international goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain.

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Albion did however progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Continental Tyres League Cup. Brighton finished second in their group of six to advance to the next round, picking up ten points.

The first game saw the Seagulls draw 2-2 away with FA Women's Championship side Tottenham Hotspur. With draws in the competition decided by penalties, Albion were unlucky to lose 10-9 in a titanic shootout.

This was then followed by a 3-1 away loss against last season's FA Women's Super League champions Chelsea but Brighton sealed their passage to the quarters in some style.

The Seagulls picked up three consecutive victories, against London Bees, Crystal Palace, and Yeovil Town, scoring 12 goals and conceding just three to seal their place in the final eight.

Their FA Continental Tyres League Cup dream was to come to end in an away defeat against a rampant Manchester City.

City put Brighton to the sword, as the FA Women's Super League table-toppers demolished Albion 7-1. England forward Nikita Parris gave the hosts the lead before Buet equalised from the penalty spot.

However, further goals from Lauren Hemp (two), Caroline Weir, Georgia Stanway, Claire Emslie and Janine Beckie secured a semi-final spot for Manchester City.